Is there really a medical malpractice crisis?
In an article for the Boston Globe this week, a doctor discusses the problems with medical malpractice and negligence lawsuits. The article describes the sad story of a woman who gave birth to premature twins. One of the twins died, due to doctors failing to recognize a deadly condition that she developed. The misdiagnosis cost her her life and when the mother attempted to find out why, the hospital was cold and seemingly indifferent.
Eventually she was forced to sue, and received a multimillion-dollar damage award. Nevertheless, as is the case with numerous medical malpractice cases, she had begun simply asking what had happened that cost her a daughter. The hospital’s indifference drove her to sue, as she became enraged at their lack of concern, their behaving as if it were merely a paperwork error.
Yet, the doctor who wrote the article noted that within the medical community, doctors often seem themselves as the “victim” of medical malpractice lawsuits. Doctor’s complain about the “explosion” of “frivolous” cases and that there is a “crisis.” But the facts are otherwise. A 2006 study from the New England Journal of Medicine, hardly a mouthpiece for the trial lawyer’s bar, found that 97 percent of the cases did involve a true medical injury, and two-thirds involved actual mistakes or errors by medical personnel.
This study and others found that if there is a bias in the medical malpractice system, it actually works in favor of the doctors and other healthcare professionals.
If you or a member has suffered a negative outcome in a surgery, because of defective drugs, or some other medical treatment to mistreatment, contact a medical malpractice attorney. We will help you find out what happened.
Source: The Boston Globe, “Medical malpractice: Why is it so hard for doctors to apologize?’ Darshak Sanghavi, Jan. 27, 2013